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Evonik Ramps Up Precipitated Silica Production at Charleston Facility
Evonik Ramps Up Precipitated Silica Production at Charleston Facility

Evonik Ramps Up Precipitated Silica Production at Charleston Facility

  • 01-Feb-2024 4:32 PM
  • Journalist: Bob Duffler

Evonik Industries AG, headquartered in Essen, Germany, has undertaken a significant investment in the expansion of its precipitated silica plant at the Charleston site in South Carolina. This strategic move aims to meet the escalating demand, particularly from the tire industry in North America, and enhance the resilience of supply chains for Evonik partners in the region by facilitating local silica sourcing.

Silica plays a pivotal role as a key ingredient in the production of fuel-efficient tires and various other products such as toothpaste and coatings. The group is injecting a mid-double-digit million Euro amount into this venture, with construction of the new production line scheduled to commence in mid-2024 and operations set to commence in early 2026.

Maike Schuh, Chief Financial Officer of Evonik and overseer of the Americas region, underscores the significance of North America as a strategic growth region for the company. The investment in Charleston reflects their commitment to a customer-centric approach, enhancing cost efficiency and sustainability. Evonik is dedicated to investing in innovative and environmentally friendly solutions, delivering superior sustainability benefits to customers. The addition of the new line in Charleston will amplify the production capacity for precipitated silica at the site by 50%, positioning the state-of-the-art facility as a major hub for sustainable silica products in North America, according to Lauren Kjeldsen, Head of the Smart Materials Division, which includes the silica business.

Evonik has established a clear roadmap towards carbon neutrality for its Charleston site. Emmanuel Auer, Head of the Silica Business Line, highlights the intense efforts of the commercial and technical teams in developing a robust expansion concept. This expansion aligns with Evonik's sustainability targets by combining the positive impact of its silica technologies with a low carbon footprint, reinforcing the company's commitment to the Science Based Targets initiative.

The expansion in Charleston not only addresses the need for local-to-local supply chains for tires but also aligns with the company's plans to introduce circular raw materials for manufacturing ULTRASIL Silica, catering to the sustainability targets of the tire industry.

Silica's crucial role in fuel-efficient tires, which can reduce fuel consumption by up to eight percent compared to conventional passenger car tires, is driving the above-average growth in demand for such tires in North America. Evonik's consistent investments in modern silica production updates and strategic acquisitions worldwide reflect its commitment to further enhancing the business. The Charleston facilities form part of a global network of 18 precipitated silica production sites.

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